Have you ever been to one of “those neighborhoods”? You know the one . . . where every house on the block is lit up with all manner of Christmas lights and decorations? Even though I can walk away feeling like I have sensory overload, I love neighborhoods that “light up” for Jesus’ birth.
What if you drove down one of those streets and got a glimpse inside a house or two. Wouldn’t you be shocked if there wasn’t one single Christmas decoration put up on the inside of the house? I sure would! In fact, I would feel compelled to ask, “Why do you put such effort on decorating the outside of your home and no effort on the inside of your home?” A logical response would probably be something like, “I used all my time, energy, and resources on the outside and had nothing left for the inside.”
By now, you may be able to tell where I am going with this . . .
How many times do you and I use up all of our energy on the “outsides” of our lives – putting lights up, decorating our houses, sending Christmas cards, shopping for presents, having a packed schedule full of festivities and yet, our insides are completely empty!
We have not spent any of our time, energy or resources preparing our hearts and because our hearts aren’t ready, our thoughts, attitudes, and actions reflect our unprepared heart.
Our prayer this “preparation” week is, “Help me be ready to welcome you, O God.” But how do we practically do that?
Let me offer two suggestions as a starting point:
- First thing in the morning – As you open your eyes each morning make a conscious effort to commit your day to Jesus. Ask Him to help you prepare your heart for the day ahead and to give you the desire to obey the Holy Spirit’s promptings to forgive, pray, serve, encourage and show love to whomever (and however) He leads.
- Last thing at night – As you lay your head on the pillow each night, reflect upon your day, asking God to give you feedback on how you did. In what instances did you obey? In what instances could you have done better?
I encourage you to spend some time each morning and each night preparing your heart. It is a little thing that makes a big difference.
Today’s Family ADVENTure!
Family Activity: Light the hope and preparation candles of your Advent wreath. Ask the Lord to help your family be ready to welcome Him and pray over your hopes
Dinner Discussion: What is the Holy Spirit prompting you to do to prepare of Jesus’ coming?
Your Friend in Ministry,